Key Passage: Genesis 2:1-3
Key Text: Mark 2: 27 – “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Sometimes we buy appliances and start to run them without ever referring to the owner’s manual. We plug and play and expect it to run well. Then when something appears to be wrong we scramble for the owners manual and start to read what the manufacturer’s of the appliance said we should do to make the appliance perform optimally. It happens to a lot of us and I know you are nodding your head in agreement. Actually, men are guiltier of this than women. Women tend to want to read the owners manual, but because men are used to handling the ‘techy’ things around the house, they tend to think they have mastered everything, so they just plug and try to play. Sorry guys!
God designed the human being and He has provided us with an owner’s manual. In this case it is His manual. How we are to function as human beings are all contained in His book, the bible. I think we would be wise to concede that we are not our own creators and consequently, we do not really understand how we operate and how to maximise our potential. We try, but often without referring to His manual, we fail abysmally.
Today’s scripture speaks of the Sabbath being made for man. The Sabbath in the Old Testament was the last day of the week, which would be our Saturday and in the New Testament, it was observed by Christians on the first day of the week, which will be our Sunday. Which day of the week Sabbath falls on is not my purpose today, and quite honestly I don’t think it is that important as I see it from the New Testament. What is important about the Sabbath is the observance of it and the understanding behind it according to God.
The Sabbath is a day of rest, where no customary work is done and where we are to spend time in the presence of God, reflecting on the beauty of His creation and being refreshed by God and empowered and envisioned for a new week ahead of us. It is also a sanctified day and a blessed day. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:1-3
Today we live in a 24/7-week world. The world really never sleeps and really nothing ever shuts down anymore. Shops are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. If the physical store is closed, the virtual online store remains open. We are in a continuous race, running here and there, trying to make ends meet. We are bombarded with zillions of information daily and we have to read almost all of them and respond immediately. It an amazing thing to think of what we all do now with our lives. We are so busy.
But God did not design human beings to be continuously on the go. He designed a day that man must rest and be refreshed and re-envisioned. But we throw that away and get on with life and then we are surprised, when thing start to fall apart and our lives just seem to be ‘one big chaos’.
I am not advocating the religious observance of the Sabbath, but an understanding, apprehension and application of the principle. It is a God created, God ordered principle that man should keep, so we can function optimally.
The Sabbath was created by God for man, so we can rest, remember His creation, remember His salvation, focus on His love and compassion, listen to Him for direction, be refreshed by Him and empowered by Him.
There is something about the Sabbath that we need to recover in our day. God seems to draw closer to us and His presence seems more tangible, and we certainly conclude the Sabbath feeling very refreshed and newly empowered to take on a new week.
God Himself observed the Sabbath. He took a break from creating the world on the seventh day. So if God rested from His work and He recommends that you do likewise, only those who are wiser than God will choose not to obey Him.
One more thing, do you know that John the Apostle received the book of Revelations of the Sabbath day? Read Revelations 1:10.
Let’s pray: Father God, help us rediscover the sanctity and blessedness of the Sabbath and teach us to observe it in our lives. Lord, please help us to see that we are out of alignment with you when we carry on our lives without you. Help us also to see the need to set a day aside each week, where we focus on you and you alone. We ask this in Jesus name we pray. Amen.